A tale of 2 estimates

A tale of 2 estimates

So I take a right hand turn too tight and run my side over a granite corner and really dent in the steel side bottom of the car between the front and rear passenger doors. Front door sticks a bit on the bottom corner but opens just fine. Passenger door opens normally.

One place wants to bang it out and repaint most of that side. Price: $7000

The other place said they need to cut it out and put new steel in. Price $14000

I will use my insurance but who do I believe in this case. The car drives perfectly as the dent is minor and all electronics and other systems are normal.

Any comments or suggestions? Or go for a 3rd estimate... Both were Tesla approved.


M3phan | 2 juli 2019

Wow!!! That’s a pretty big diff in price AND approach. I think I’d probably get a third estimate just to see which way it goes. My gut says don’t cut.

Magic 8 Ball | 2 juli 2019

The thing about estimates is they are estimates. Is it possible the "bang out" shop wants to get the car in and then maybe they find "hidden damage" to where they revise the estimate to a "cut out".

Dig deeper into the reputation of the shops. How are you sure they are Tesla "approved"?

ramoska | 3 juli 2019

I reported the damage and sent pictures to bodyshop email. They responded with a list of approved body shops. The Atlanta area has about 10 on the list. Most are Service King affiliated. The 2 I went to was one I used before and liked. The other was recommended by a friend first..and then I saw that it was on the list of approved body shops that was sent to me by Tesla.

ramoska | 3 juli 2019

Shop 1 the lower estimate was originally recommended to me by the Tesla Mobile Guy who replaced a bad headlight. I had scuffed my front bumper and he said they were the place to go to for that. This was back in the fall of 2018. I had just got the car. Place 2 the insane estimate is a high end body shop that only does high end cars and had added Tesla to the list a few years ago.

jjgunn | 3 juli 2019 have a can afford it.

I can't tell you how much I despise that attitude.

hokiegir1 | 3 juli 2019

@ramoska - If you can, have the Tesla bodyshop in Marietta give you an estimate as well after actually looking at the car. And if one of the 2 you talked to wasn't ECR, I'd check with them as well. They have done both some warranty work and accident repair on mine. They have a couple locations around the city. I've been to the Roswell one.

ramoska | 3 juli 2019

What is ECR?

hokiegir1 | 3 juli 2019

European Collision Repair. It's one of the Tesla-approved body shops.

ramoska | 3 juli 2019

jjgunn | July 3, 2019 have a can afford it.

I can't tell you how much I despise that attitude.

What attitude? I am just paying a deductible. I think I was ok to use the word insane after seeing an estimate that was double to repair a 6 inch dent in the car. $14,000 is alot of money whether I could "afford" it or not.

hokiegir1 | 3 juli 2019

@ramoska - He meant the attitude of the shop to jack up prices just because it's a Tesla. It wasn't a reflection on you at all.

Magic 8 Ball | 3 juli 2019

I think he was commenting on the shop's attitude. ; )

ramoska | 3 juli 2019

Oh my bad...

ramoska | 3 juli 2019

Sorry jjgun

howard | 3 juli 2019

Ken, Has your adjuster looked at the damage? They may not approve anything other than the cheapest route. Can you link a couple of pictures? Just curious to see the amount of damage for $7,000+. Can it be pulled and filled? I don't think I would consider having it cut out and replaced even if covered.

fuentejose | 3 juli 2019

At the end the insurance might be the one to determine which option, likely going with the cheapest one and since it’s from a certified center the argument to justify the other expense option is harder.
Now I am of the rules of 3, so IF possible, try and go to a actual Tesla SC with body repair and get an estimate. If they also recommend replacing all not just “banging it out” jk, that might it easier to decide. Also parts issue could be less hassle and an actual Tesla site vs 3rd party certified. I am expert. Just my 2 cents.

Good luck.

fuentejose | 3 juli 2019

Correction I am NOT an expert,lol

ramoska | 3 juli 2019

I appreciate the comments. Thanks. will do! The adjuster is not seeing my car until Next Thursday. So I'll head over to Marietta today.


ramoska | 3 juli 2019

So Marietta is a Tesla Body Shop. They now have my pics and I have their number. They will get back to me and tell me which one is best. Thanks to everyone for the advice.

ICEMELT | 3 juli 2019

Wonder what is the process to get Tesla approved? Is there any warranty advantage?

7000 does seem very high to bang it out. If its coming out of insurance pocket, you will pay for it eventually.

hokiegir1 | 3 juli 2019

@Icemelt - It's my understanding that there are 2 methods -- there are online "classes" that shops can participate in for the certification, or some shops have actually sent techs out to CA to receive in-person training.

jimglas | 3 juli 2019

it was the best of body shops
It was the worst of body shops

Maxxer | 3 juli 2019

wow $14,000
that is crazy

lordmiller | 3 juli 2019

Stop running into things

Passion2Fly | 3 juli 2019
ramoska | 11 juli 2019

Just got the estimate from the insurance company. $4500 so get the popcorn out and see who wins! I was told to go to Barrow's for sure so I'm sticking with them and my insurance company never saw the one that said $7000... Even the insurance company preferred the one who said 14K.

jamespompi | 11 juli 2019

Similar experience for me with comprehensive damages involving repaint to bumpers and some body work to the bumpers. Tesla approved body shop (only 1 of 2 in central FL) Dayas quoted me @ 13k. Fortunately Tesla Eatonville has a minor body shop and did it for $2,300. It took some convincing to the tesla claims dept since the damages were beyond their typical scope but given the insane quote from the approved shop they did it for me and even gave me a model S loaner since I didnt have rental coverage.

andrewlee05 | 11 juli 2019

Similar experience here. I had a golf ball sized dent on the A-Pillar above front passenger side, scratch on bumper, scratch on headlight, and couple paint chips on the hood from a golf ball sized rock hitting my car.

My insurance estimated ~$2500 and cut me a check for $2000 to hand over to the body shop with $500 being my deductible. Took it to a Tesla certified body shop in NY and they asked my insurance for an additional $11,000, which my insurance company paid. It is currently being repaired and I'm stuck with a Camry, which I refuse to drive, and will only drive if I absolutely need to.

It is absolutely ridiculous that these body shops can charge so much. Not sure what's going to happen to my insurance premium after this comprehensive claim.